Jobless rate up in Prince George

Tuesday, 11 Feb, 2020

The tech sector added 1,000 positions to employ a total of 43,700 workers, while the public service boosted its ranks by about 1,600 people to employ a total of 180,200 residents in Ottawa-Gatineau. Motor vehicles and parts lost 11,000 jobs over the month.

However, the statistics agency noted the big decline in unemployment came as more British Columbians stopped actively searching for work.

Hiring jumped last month as US employers added a robust 225,000 jobs, bolstering an economy that faces threats from China's viral outbreak, an ongoing trade war and struggles at Boeing.

Most found jobs. But those that didn't were newly counted as unemployed, and their numbers raised the jobless rate to 3.6% from December's half-century low of 3.5%.

Labor Department data due at 8:30 a.m. Friday in Washington will show 165,000 jobs were added in January as private hiring rise to 155,000, according to Bloomberg's survey of economists.

The US saw another month of strong jobs growth in January, extending a streak of gains that has surprised many economists.

"Strong job creation and firming wage growth in January provided reassurance that the record-long economic expansion still has room to run", said Lydia Boussour, a senior US economist at Oxford Economics in NY.

Revisions to prior reports also found that the USA 514,000 fewer jobs were created between April 2018 and March 2019 than originally estimated.

Canadian employment strengthened for a second-straight month, helping quell concerns that a weak labor market might force the Bank of Canada to promptly lower interest rates. Average wages went up to $28.83/hour. There were also 19,000 more government jobs last month.

The health-care and social-assistance sector shed the most jobs over the last 12 months, losing 5,600 positions, while retail and wholesale trade dropped 2,400 jobs.

The January unemployment rate remained low at 3.6 percent and average hourly earnings increased by seven cents. New Brunswick added 4,600. The number of jobs fell by 18,900 in Alberta. Economists see the monthly average of claims as a more reliable gauge of the labor market.

"That said, other indicators of the economy, in particular consumption, have looked soft".

If you smooth out all of those swings you get a picture that is closer to moderate growth, Kavcic said.